Campaign for Prop 1, the water bond starts in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The entire state needs water, and the call has been loudest from Valley farmers who are pinning their hopes on voters to approve the water bond.

Joe Del Bosque said, "This water bond means that we've got hope to build some infrastructure that will help to give us a more reliable water supply."

Fresno County Farmer Joe Del Bosque played a key role in letting President Obama know the impact of the drought on California during his visit to the Valley last February.

Wednesday, he was among the crowd as leaders from both parties came together to start the campaign for the state's water bond measure, known as Proposition One.

Republican Assembly Member Frank Bigelow of O'Neill's told the crowd, "This day is the day it starts, this is when we start campaigning to see this bond passes in the November election."

The key for the Central Valley is the nearly $3 billion marked for the construction of two dams, one at Temperance Flats east of Fresno. Dams, however, are controversial with environmental groups and could make the entire bond a harder sell.

Ron Jacobsma of the Friant Water Users Authority says there's a need to educate the public outside the Valley.

"I think that once the public sees these are multipurpose facilities not the old days when you just dam a wild and scenic river, Temperance Flat for instance is between two dams on a river it's actually going to be built in Millerton Lake," explained Jacobsma. "I think that will change the perception of what kind of dams we are talking about."

One of the authors of Prop 1 State Assembly Member Henry T. Perea acknowledged getting the measure on the ballot was tough, but now the hardest work begins.

Perea added, "Thank you for all of your hard work, this is phase one, now phase two starts today and we have to convince the voters to get those done and get those projects moving."

Proposition 1 will appear on the November 4th election ballot.

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